Arthur Brown’s monumental 1968 hit “Fire” overshadowed a career that consisted of far more than just one great song. In 1971, Brown formed a group called Kingdom Come and released a mindbender of an album called Galactic Zoo Dossier. The opening track “Internal Messenger” is an epic blast of thundering prog rock that melds perfectly with Brown’s hellfire bombast.
This bewitchingly bizarre clip from the 1971 Glastonbury Festival was beautifully shot by Nicolas Roeg and is available on import DVD here.
In fact, it feels at times like there’s so much going on within Performance‘s 105 minutes, in terms of philosophical scope and ambition, movies like The Matrix or 2001: A Space Odyssey seem almost puny in comparison.
And much like the London flat itself, Performance is a movie to lose yourself in. Since my preteen exposure to it via the Z Channel, I must have watched it a good dozen times. Nevertheless, the film continues to surprise me. Disorient, too.
Part of this was due, no doubt, to the alchemical editing of co-writer/director Donald Cammell, who sadly, took his own life in ‘96. Cammell’s ultimately tragic life and career is certainly deserving of its own post at some point, but, in the meantime, what follows is Part I of an absolutely worthwhile 3-part documentary on the making of Performance and the controversy that’s dogged the film ever since its release 30 years ago. Links to the other parts follow below.